Planning ahead and staying one step ahead
Francois Wahl studied B.Acc at Stellenbosch University and is a qualified chartered accountant.
Since taking the seat as the CEO of Nictus Furnishers, he says the company has increased its market share, added more local products, added a Deluxe coffee bar in Windhoek Giga, retained quality staff members and reached its AA goals.
For Wahl, there is no normal day in the office but he says it is important for him to always stay one step ahead.
“I try to plan, organise, motivate, coordinate and control the business on a daily basis. When I am at the office I check and answer emails, read and analyse reports to have quality discussions with our branch managers, run through the Windhoek branch to check in with management and any other employee I can talk to on the showroom floor,” he says.
Wahl also mentions that their weekly meetings are important to discuss functions of the business.
“I have a daily phone call with a different branch manager to check on the health of the branch and ensure strategic targets are kept as first priority on their to-do lists, think about our business plan and strategic goals and how to create new experiences for our clients.”
After completing his auditing articles in Bellville, he worked as an accountant and later a financial controller for Africa Lime Industries in Stellenbosch.
After that, he started his own financial consulting business in KwaZulu-Natal and as a sideline project he produced, financed and directed a feature-length documentary called ‘Doc-U-Mentally’ which was later licensed by a UK company and rebranded as ‘Township ER’.
“My wife is from Namibia and when we fell pregnant the first time we decided to pack up and leave for Namibia. I found a financial management position at TrenTyre, a subsidiary of Nictus Holdings Limited.
“After that I was promoted to retail operations manager for the Nictus Group, and after that the CEO of Nictus Furnishers, another subsidiary of Nictus Holdings Limited.”
Wahl says the number one character trait for working in his line is emotional intelligence.
“If you cannot manage people you cannot manage a business,” he says.
“Jesus Christ - When you’re a believer you model the life of Christ and your life changes. Most of my life lessons came through trying to be like Him and it has been a very rewarding journey.”
“My father – He came from a very poor upbringing in Paarl, but through athletics and working hard earned a study bursary to become a doctor and is now a renowned orthopaedic surgeon in Somerset-West, raised four kids with our mother and all of us had the opportunity to study and craft our own futures without the struggles he had to face.”
Last piece of advice
Wahl encourages young people to talk less about doing things, and just do it.
“If you have dreams, start by taking a step, doesn’t matter how small but just start with getting it activated. Things escalate quicker than you think,” he says.
The future of the company
“I am striving to have the whole Namibia think of Nictus as the furniture connoisseurs and always deliver on our promise of quality, value, variety and service.”
· He plays Ultimate Frisbee
· He used to be a sprinter
· Wahl loves soccer
· He is the chairman and founder of the Arsenal Supporters Club of Namibia
· He had to choose between studying drama, architecture and accounting because those were his interests.
· Francois loves listening to Audible books on the road.
· Since church is a big part of his life, Wahl says he loves being a part of the ushering and welcoming teams at his church.
· He loves kapana.
· A seafood platter would be his final meal.
· Ice-cream would be his final dessert.